Emotional support animals (ESAs), and therapists writing ESA letters for clients, are frequent topics around here. After years of overuse, the FAA allowed airlines to ban ESAs from passenger cabins early this year, and every major domestic airline has done so. Now California has developed new rules for therapists wanting to write ESA letters, most commonly for clients who want an ESA in a housing situation that does not allow pets.
Therapists should not write Emotional Support Animal letters
Note: The following opinion is a lightly-edited excerpt from the fourth edition of Basics of California Law for LMFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs. Emotional Support Animal (ESA) letters are discussed in one of the book’s “Room for Debate” segments, alongside Emma Jaegle’s counterargument supporting therapists writing ESA letters. Note the update at the bottom of this post.